, Volume 109, Issue 2, pp 191-196

Substantia nigra echogenicity is normal in non-extrapyramidal cerebral disorders but increased in Parkinson's disease

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Transcranial sonography (TCS) revealed substantia nigra (SN) hyperechogenicity in idiopathic Parkinson's disease (IPD). To further evaluate specificity of this finding, we examined 30 IPD patients and 30 age-matched subjects with non-extrapyramidal cerebral disorders (NED). All IPD patients showed a SN hyperechogenicity, in 17 it was bilateral and in 13 unilateral. 7 NED patients had a SN hyperechogenicity, in all it was unilateral, confirming previous results in healthy subjects. Bilateral SN hyperechogenicity indicates IPD and normal SN echogenicity indicates NED. In 30% of patients TCS does not distinguish between IPD and NED. Data further support the assumption that bilateral SN hyperechogenicity is specific for IPD.

Received April 30, 2001; accepted October 17, 2001